Matthew Stafford offers to pay hospital bills of photographer with broken spine after he walked from her horror fall

‘We will be covering all her hospital bills and replacing her cameras’

Harriet Sinclair
Friday 18 February 2022 15:07 GMT

Rams quaterback Matthew Stafford has offered to pay the hospital bills of the NFLphotographer who fractured her spine falling backwards off a stage while taking his picture.

Video footage shows the moment while photograhper Kelly Smiley slipped and fell in front of Mr Stafford and his wife Kelly at the Rams Super Bowl Parade, with Mr Stafford walking away after the incident.

One video of the incident was posted with the caption: “Stafford saw her fall and told Kelly to take care of it”.

In a joint statement from Mr Stafford and the Rams, it was confirmed that Mr Stafford would be covering the photographer’s medical bills.

“We have been in communication with Kelly Smiley since yesterday’s incident and we are sorry for what happened,” the statement said. “As we told Kelly, we will be covering all her hospital bills and replacing her cameras. We wish her a speedy recovery.”

Mr Stafford’s offer to pay the hospital bills of Ms Smiley comes following a barrage of criticism for the NFL star over the video that appears to show him making a surprised expression at the fall, and then walk away.

He was widely panned on social media following the incident.

“This photographer ended up fracturing her spine and [I don’t know] what is more concerning: The way that Stafford just turned around immediately without even looking to check if she’s okay or that every guy in the comments is like ‘well bro he didn’t push her it’s not his problem’,” one Twitter user said.

Others have also donated towards Ms Smiley’s treatment, with a GoFundMe page (which has now been paused) having raised more than $48,000 towards her treatment.

“Thank you to everyone who has donated time and money to help Kelly out! She is very thankful and is overwhelmed by the amount of love and support that has been shown. Kelly has been discharged from the hospital and is resting at home,” a message on the page said.

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